Wednesday, October 10, 2012

a matter of perspective

There aren't all that many decks in which I really like the Hierophant card, and this is all the more true of straightforward RWS clones. I like the Nusantara's of course - I love everything about the deck - but by and large, decks that hew too closely to the original suffer in my eyes because, well...

Though it has grown on me over the years, overall, the image presented in the RWS Hierophant is one that, for me personally, is difficult to connect to the more positive aspects of the card. I know that the Hierophant isn't only about the rigidity of authority and tradition, isn't only about oppression of hierarchy and structure, isn't only about the burden of duty, being a follower. And yet, when I see the christian-tradition priest...

We are all so very much made up of our experiences...sitting in church pews as a child, listening to things that never connected, never felt any kind of true...politics and politics, listening to people twist those same ideas into something even more intolerable...

I can appreciate Pixie's artwork, and I can read and study and educate myself all about the esoteric layers and yet... the same way that I cannot help but think of churches whenever I smell frankincense  The downstairs neighbors in Tunisia would burn it during Ramadan and all night, all I could think was...why does my apartment smell like a church? Some associations just...stay.

Whereas an eastern-influenced Hierophant, the exact same imagery, position, ideas, simply represented in a different flavor, a buddhist flavor...


I cannot really believe any religion, and yet I've always found a certain appeal in the wisdom there. I've read a couple of the Dalai Lama's books, some Thich Nhat Han. I can see them as a teacher, a guide, structure that helps rather than stifles.

I found this wall hanging in a Tibetan shop I stumbled into some random night last year while waiting to meet up with someone. I got it because it is true, and because it is something that I really do need a reminder of, sometimes.

Glance at it there, on the wall. every day. Repetition. Truth-repetition.

5 comments:

tarotcirkel said...

Can you tell my from which tarot deck the upper Hierophant is? It is so beautiful....

Bonkers said...

It's from the Fenestra tarot. If you are interested, I'm giving away my copy in the post below this one :]

Inner Whispers said...

I'm so with you on this one. Even "knowing" what the Hierophant is supposed to represent, I just can't help my knee-jerk reaction to the traditional image. Yet there are so many ways around it - Ciro's "Faith" being a beautiful example. And as you say, this is one of the better cards in the Fenestra :)

Zanna Starr said...

Yeah, I'm a member of the "Knee Jerk" Club too when it comes to this card. But I do love the Fenestra version and many other versions in other decks. Just can't warm to the RWS Hierophant and his clones.

Carla said...

I must be one of the only people I know who actually likes the Hierophant card. It's one of the cards I look at when deciding how I feel about a deck. If it seems too negative, I know I won't like the deck. And if it's too far a departure from suggesting structure and tradition, the same is true. I wonder what my favourite Hierophant card is. I tend to think of the Hierophant in terms of tradition, spiritual teachers, social institutions. I personally don't think there's anything bad about any of those things. Funny, isn't it.

Post a Comment